June 23, 2017

Wasi Daniju kindly shared a selection of images from her first photographic exhibition held earlier this year. The full selection of images can be found here

“You are amazed that they exist
and they burn so bright

whilst you can only wonder why”

Pulp

Black Muslim Women. We exist. Yet to witness the dearth of representation in media, and the narratives relating to each of these three groups, you would be forgiven for believing these three words belong together only in theory.

Ironically, this erasure in representation does not hold the same for the prejudice and bigotry visited upon black Muslim women. Falling within all three of these groups, we find ourselves on the receiving end of racism, islamophobia and misogyny, and the many vicious ways these three bigotries intersect. This is not to mention the additional elements of prejudices likely to be directed with a greater degree towards certain people who fall within this group: anti-immigrant sentiment, shadeism, fatphobia, homophobia, transphobia and much more.

As a photographer, I believe in both the power and necessity of visual representation. I believe in the necessity of seeing portrayals of ourselves both as aspiration and celebration. I believe also in telling our own story – because, if we don’t, who will? Ultimately, I believe we need to create as vast a record of our existence as possible, so that future generations will not be able to so easily erase us from history as seems to have happened in the past, and is being attempted to this day.

As a black Muslim woman, I also believe in our excellence, beauty and vitality. We may face erasure, we must survive hatred, but our very existence is glorious – there are so many ways in which we burn so bright.

 

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